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tv   Pentagon Press Sec. Kirby Maj. Gen. Taylor Hold Press Briefing  CSPAN  August 25, 2021 10:36am-11:33am EDT

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you can go to something better if you put the right amount of effort and thinking into it. host: what is your life like today? guest: i went to the city today. i needed to get a few things. i passed by the bank and it was finally open after more than 10 days, i reckon. there were a lot of people standing in line. they were taliban fighters asking people to respect the line using sticks. the city is slowly getting busier. not as busy as it used to be but there is more and more traffic. the taliban is not really interact with people. two nights ago they stopped me to check paperwork and make sure my car was out of stolen vehicle because something happened on
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the first day. -- >> good morning, everyone. thank you for being here this morning. like yesterday, i will provide an update on the afghan operations and then follow with a short operational update on our operations in haiti. you will less -- u.s. and coalition troops maintain security at the kabul airport. the security continues to allow for the evacuation operations and allowing us to remain to process people who are ready to fly. our focus is continuing to get as many people out as efficiently and as safely as possible. in the past 24 hours, we exceeded the previous 24-hour flight departures and evacuated a number of passengers nearing
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the previous day's record. yesterday, 42 u.s. military aircraft, of which 37 were c-17's and five c-130s departed with approximately 11,200 personnel. combined with our 48 coalition and allied partners, with those departures an additional 7800 personnel left kabul. that is 95 total yesterday that left the airport. that is accounting for 19,000 evacuees safely out of afghanistan within a 24 hour period. since the u.s. and coalition forces began the evacuation, to date approximately 88,000 have safely departed from afghanistan. every 39 minutes yesterday a
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plane departed kabul airport. these numbers are a testament to the hard working and brave service members carrying out this mission. in cooperation with the state department, i can tell you there are more than 10,000 people currently at this time at the airport awaiting departure. this is a snapshot in time. we will continue to change as more people are able to come onto the airfield and as flights depart. as i said yesterday, in order for this to remain steady we depend on capacity and efficiency of our staging bases and safe havens. we are appreciative of support and rely on alley partners. it is a global endeavor. six flights will transport about 1800 vulnerable afghans from germany to the united states today. in addition, approximately 2000
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more will arrive at ramzi airbase, germany -- and from stein airbase -- rahmstein airbase in germany will receive -- you will likely hear more details of the plans during the press -- about the press schedule with mr. kirby. 7000 evacuees have arrived in the united states so far. they will continue to do so. in the past when four hours, five flights landed at dulles international airport with approximately 1200 passengers. as part of this process these individuals completed biometric vetting and screening and according with the fbi, nctc, and custom and border control
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standards directed by the department of homeland security. we are working around the clock to provide safe, sanitary appropriate receptions at processing at all of our locations throughout the world. i know you have questions about the current timeline. our mission remains unchanged. for each day of the operation we have carried out the direction of the president and the secretary of defense. until that mission changes we will continue to put forward our maximum effort to safely evacuate as many people as possible. we will keep you updated. i want to give you a short update on haiti. the department of defense and u.s. southern command are continuing to be in full support of usaid as the lead federal agency. the bureau for humanitarian assistance team has bound the ground since the beginning.
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we have been supporting them since then. as have a lot of allied partners working with international community to identify points of need. this lifesaving aid and assistance mission is where dod's unique capabilities, specifically an airlift and just six are engaged -- and logistics are engaged to get lifesaving aid where it needs to be rapidly. 64 full-spectrum missions, which have assisted or saved over 436 lives. and delivered over 163 pounds of vital aid as of late yesterday. thank you. >> good morning everybody. just one more note and we will
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get the questions. i think you may have seen now we have released the secretary's memo with respect to mandatory evacuations for covid-19. after careful consultation with medical experts and military leadership and with the support of the president, mandatory evacuation -- vaccination against covid-19 is necessary to protect the safety of service members and our forces. mandatory vaccination will only use covid-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the food and drug administration with accordance with fda approved labeling and guidance. for requirements, and plummeting consistent with him program instruction 6205.02. the existing structure and regulations that govern policies and procedures for managing mandatory vaccination across the force.
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this is consistent with the department's efforts to ensure safety and maintain readiness of the force. with that we will take questions. >> with regard to afghanistan, can you give us a sense of what the evacuation and is likely to look like or expected to look like in terms of the sequence of events over the last three or four or five days? will the u.s. need to have exclusive use of the field, the apparatus to execute the final flights? mr kirby: i will ask the general to be more specific. what we anticipate happening in the last couple of days, we will continue to evacuate needed populations. all the way to the end.
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if you are an evacuee we can get out, we will continue to get you out. right up until the end. but in the last couple of days we will try to preserve as much capability as we can at the airport as you might imagine. in the last couple of days we will begin to prioritize military capabilities and military resources to move out. that does not mean that if you are an evacuee and you need to get out we will not try to get you out. we will have to reserve some capacity in those last couple of days to prioritize the military footprint leaving. we want to keep it there as long as possible to do the job it's intended to do. >> the charter flights would be finished earlier? when you referred to military resources, are you talking about american only? mr. kirby: primarily u.s.
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military troops and equipment. we are now and have been working with allies and partners to help them withdraw their people and we will help them withdraw their forces as well. >> right to the very end or earlier? mr. kirby: we want to preserve as much capability as possible. some of that capability is not ours. they will be a balance. it will be up to the admiral to determine how we strike that balance in terms of making sure he has the maximum capability for as long as possible. there will be a transition more towards getting military assets out as we get closer to the end. we will continue to work the evacuation mission right up until the last day. maj. gen. taylor: what i would add for the answer mr. kirby gave his, as you have seen in the last three days, the
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complexity and amount of aircraft moving in and out. the capability to continue to sequence and plan for the actual requirements that leave on a daily basis will be made on the ground. we have that capability to manage quite a lot of throughput and be able to put the right things on those aircraft as they come in and as they leave. >> john, who is guarding the u.s. embassy right now? who will guard after the u.s. military pulls out? are the contingencies? do you have an agreement with the taliban? do you have an agreement with any nato allies to keep the airport open after the u.s. military pulls out? mr. kirby: there is no military assets guarding the of is the compound, the u.s. embassy is operating out of hamid karzai international airport.
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the turks are on the ground at the airport assisting in the security mission we have. i will not speak for their intentions one way or another going forward. there is not going to be -- when the mission is over and when we are leaving the airport, the airport -- the united states -- it is not our responsibility anymore. how it gets managed going forward will be something that the taliban, who are now in kabul, will have to manage on their own. i assume with the international community. that will not be an american response ability. >> how many individuals on terror watch lists have been found at any screen points, either in qutar, rahmstein, or
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in the u.s.? mr. kirby: i don't know. we will have to get back to you. >> on behalf of the young kim people thank you for your -- the afghan people thank you for your hard job. the afghan people, some are not eligible for a visa. they have a serious problem. they are not in kabul. they are hiding. they move from one place to the other place. they contacted me. what can we do? do you have any plans from the state department or the pentagon? they are the target of the taliban. a spokesperson said wife with
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the united states make a problem for us? we are not allowing the people to leave afghanistan. on the other hand, taliban are like five groups. a lot of people there but they are not eligible. is there a possibility for any other option for them to be safe? mr. kirby: i can't speak for each and every afghan who wants to leave and is dealing with their own individual circumstances to get out. we know there are a lot of desperate people who want to leave. that is why we are working as fast as we can. use all the numbers we continue to get out. we are working as fast as we can to get out american citizens, special immigrant visa applicants and vulnerable afghans. we continue to work at this.
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i can't begin to try to give you specific advice on what these individuals ought to do. i would encourage them to reach out to the state department. from the pentagon's perspective we are doing the best we can as fast as we can to move as many people as we can out on any given day. i am not able to -- i know my answer is unsatisfying. i apologize for that. i'm not able to speak to our ability to reach out and touch every single afghan that wants to get out. we -- believe me, we are mindful of the flight here and we are trying the best we can to alleviate that. >> i want to follow up to what jen was asking. there will not be a military presence guarding an embassy. post august 30 1 -- maj. gen. taylor: she -- mr. kirby: she asked about the embassy compound. >> post august 31, can you say
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there will be no diplomatic presence, u.s. diplomatic presence post august 31? mr. kirby: that is a state department issue. >> there has been reports from isis that somebody affiliated with isis got on one of the flights. what is going on with that? mr. kirby: i have seen similar press reporting. i don't have anything to update you on that. i don't have information. what i should've said was it's a better question for the department of homeland security. we will see if we can track down something for you. i'm not trying to evade it. we're are doing the best we can to manifest people on these flights and get them out as fast as possible. there is screening being done by dhs, immigration, intelligence officials doing the screening for people as they go on for
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onward flights. we are focused on trying to get as many of these individuals out. >> one last one. same question i had yesterday. cap there been any air extractions in kabul? have there been any efforts outside of kabul to extract americans and afghans? maj. gen. taylor: last night during the period of darkness there was in operation to go out and safely evacuate evacuees back into kabul. they are safely they're preparing to be evacuated. >> when you said -- was in kabul and they brought them into the airport? maj. gen. taylor: it was outside the airfield. we were able to bring the back to kabul safely. they are preparing for evacuation. to the airport, yes. mr. kirby: it was inside kabul. >> was that helicopter operation? mr. kirby: it was.
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>> can you tell a somebody? mr. kirby: we will not provide specific details. less than 20. i cannot provide additional details. >> yesterday it was reported that withdrawal had already begun. several hundred troops had come out. you pushed back on that, saying these were people whose functions were no longer needed. but all withdrawals sort of "pulling out -- pulling out nonessential personnel. why should we view that is clearing the decks for the hard-core withdrawal that is going to come here? mr. kirby: great question. i was not pushing back on headlines that said withdrawal. i was simply trying to describe what happened.
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without hyperbole. so, let me back up. what happened was the commander on the ground in trying to manage time and space at the airport determined it was the prudent thing to do to let several hundred troops leave the airport. some of these troops did come in with the troops that were added for the noncombatant evacuation, the 5800. some of them were troops that were already there at hamid karzai international airport before any additional troops fluent for the noncombatant evacuation. as you know, david, we were in the process before there was a need to go in and do a noncombatant evacuation. we were in the process of a drawdown at the airport under
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the previous plan by the end of the month. some of the troops that flew home yesterday were in that tranche. they were very much a part of the original drawdown plan. admiral vasely saw others that he believed he did not need there at the airport anymore even though they had flown in with the plus up for the neo. these are headquarters staff personnel, maintainers, and other enabling forces who either had completed their missions and were already scheduled to go even before there was a noncombatant evacuation, and others who the admiral determined their mission was complete and he did not need them anymore. time and space our premium at the airport. he has the authority to make that decision. i was not pushing back. the withdrawal has been going on since april 14. i was not pushing back.
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i wanted to make sure we had not pushed some button and said go retrograde now. we still have on the ground about 5400 of the 5800 we reached at the maximum. admiral vasely has the authority to manage in a prudent way is force management on the ground. i have not gone to the phones that i want to make sure i don't forget that. jeff? >> thank you very much. from talking to military groups it is evident the television are still blocking afghans from entrance to hamid karzai international airport. even when afghans make it onto the airport, there have been incidences where they have been escorted off due to paperwork issues. i would like to know what steps is the u.s. government taking to make sure afghans do have safe
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passage to the airport. and under what circumstances are afghans within valid visas admitted to the airport ultimately escorted off the airport grounds? mr. kirby: it is difficult for us to answer that here at the pentagon when we are not at the gates and on the ground at the airport. what i will tell you is a couple of things. i recognize no process is perfect. i am not disputing at all the accounts you are relating today, that there may be hiccups and problems. we certainly recognize that. let me take a couple of steps back and tell you how this is working. we have talked about this before. we have consular officers. there are more than 30 at the airport stationed at the gates with american troops who are helping them do their job of processing individuals as they
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come in. checking credentials, making sure they are who they say they are, and that they are in a valid group we are trying to move to the airport grounds. outside of that, the taliban has set up checkpoints. we are in daily q indication with taliban commanders -- communication with taliban commanders about who we want to see getting, whether credentials are, what they look like, what is valid. that communication happens literally every day. we have been nothing but open with the taliban about who we expect them to let in. again, fully recognize that not every step of this process is in our firm control. there are going to be instances where it does not work as advertised. i can tell you there is not a single day that goes by where the admiral and general donna
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you are not working this in personal way with taliban authorities outside of the airport. let me go another one on the phone. tara. >> thank you for doing this, john. yesterday, the president mentioned he was calling upon the department to create contingency plans in case the number of americans and afghans that still need to get out that have not come now by the 31st. can you explain what the department is thinking about, what its options might be to continue to get americans out after the 31st if they have not made it to the airport by then? just to follow on jeff's question come on afghans not getting through, have discussions going on with the taliban to maybe find some negotiation space where they said no more afghans can leave but there are 10,000 at the airport. so something is happening behind
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the scenes helping some people get through. can you talk about that to some extent? >> i will start with that last question first. a kind of comes off of something that mr. kirby just said with that constant communication. i know the most senior commanders on the ground are out and discussing with the taliban leaders that are manning these checkpoints exactly what the documentation needs to look like , times and coordination, details. as we know, there are reports that some are not able to get through there. i can tell you that the department of state, the counselor affairs officers are there -- that are there are working with commanders to ensure documentation, names, and those things, as often as required, are being communicated
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to the taliban that are at those checkpoints to allow transition there to get into the gates. >> on contingency plans, i'm not going to get ahead of the planning process. we are a planning organization. one of our main jobs is to make sure the president has options. as he made clear yesterday, he wants to see this mission complete by the end of the month. we are still working towards that goal, but we will be drafting up potential what we call in the military branches and sequels. if we do believe a conversation needs to be had later on in the months that the time lined -- time i might need to be extended. for what -- timeline might need to be extended. for what purpose and how long? that is baked into the planning
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process and i will not get ahead of what the planners are doing. >> i am still unclear at the very end of this on the 30th and 31st who will be doing security at the airport as the last u.s. troops are leaving. is there an agreement or it sound like you're saying the taliban will be responsible? >> i said the taliban are responsible for running an airport in a city that they are now heads of government there. >> [indiscernible] >> when we are gone, the airport will no longer be secured by american forces. how that security looks like after we are gone, i cannot speak to that. >> before the u.s. leaves, though. let's say the last couple aircrafts leave with americans, who is running security and keeping those aircrafts and runways a safe? >> you are asking a very good tactical question. security, which we would call
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commander's inherent responsibility throughout every phase of the operation, we are continuing to secure ourselves to the very last requirement. when you say who is securing the last flight and those things, we will have that ability to secure ourselves through multiple means to ensure flights are able to take off. >> while i have you up there, i want to clear one thing you said. he said the most senior commanders on the ground are out and discussing things with the taliban. do you mean the admiral and general are going to the checkpoint? >> i don't want to give names and things that are going on. i would tell you commanders that have authority at echelon to be able to communicate -- because as we said, the most important thing is to coordinate with the taliban to get the right people through. we have seen there has been reports of nothing right folks being able to get through, so every day, we are ensuring that
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we can get as many people in as possible so that we can fly them to safety. >> if i could ask you one more. the equipment you are talking about earlier, when you talk about transitioning towards getting military assets out, getting the people outcome american military out, but will there be a point where you will have a decision or general -- whoever it is mckenzie, will have a decision about putting people on these aircrafts or some of the equipment, artillery, all the equipment at the airport there? has there been a decision to prioritize lives over military equipment. >> lives will always be the priority, period. as we get closer to the end, there will be equipment and systems that we will probably take with us as we leave. the disposition of what we are not taking with us, that will be up to the admiral to determine how that stuff is handled.
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but lives will always be the chief priority throughout this entire process. >> all nationalities? >> lives will always be a process throughout -- priority throughout this process. let me go over here. >> a quick question, you said about 4000 americans have been evacuated. >> that's correct. >> is there an updated number and what is the base number evacuated now? >> today it is north of 4400. i do not have a specific number of total americans that are still in need of leaving. >> just a quick follow-up, the secretary and i guess the department at large have put it to lawmakers to come unannounced. are you guys aware of it and you find it helper -- help for them to be there? >> we were not aware of this visit and we are obviously not
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encouraging the visits to a very tense, dangerous, and dynamic situation at that airport and inside kabul generally. and the secretary, i think, would have appreciated the opportunity to have had a conversation before the visit took place. >> how was it having them there? >> they got a chance to talk to commanders as i understand. i got a chance to talk to troops , but to say there wasn't a need to flex and to alter the day's flow, including the need to have protection for these members of congress, that would not be a genuine thing for me to assert. there was certainly a pull off
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of the kinds of missions we were trying to do to be able to accommodate that decision. >> if congressman moulton and congressman meyer, they took seats that would have been for refugees leaving and they took time away from the mission. >> they certainly took time away from what we had been planning to do that day. i do not know -- on the aircraft, they did fly out on a military aircraft. i honestly do not know what the c capacity was on that aircraft. -- seat capacity was on that aircraft but they are out of the country. >> one more question withdrawals in the coming days. since the president has said setting contingency planning aside that everyone will be out by august 31. my question is, do you have in hand all of the authorities
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approval, signed orders, whatever is necessary to just move ahead and carry that out, or does the president, the secretary, general mckenzie, general milley, does someone still have to sign in order -- an order to have the formal withdrawal begin? >> without making you sell like i'm trying to glance over your question, obviously we are tracking the end of the mission at the end of the month. of course general mckenzie has retrograde plans on the shelf and ready to go. i can assure you that before that effort is undertaken in earnest, there will be a conversation with the secretary of defense and secretary austin will have a chance to provide
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his guidance and direction with respect to retrograde. i will leave it at that. >> i guess i don't understand because the president made the decision to stick to the deadline for august 31 for all intents and purposes. >> that's right. >> and you have that from the commander-in-chief. what is it -- i don't get it. what is it that still has to happen to have the formal official withdrawal? >> the president office said he wanted the pentagon to come up with contingency plans should there be a need to have a conversation about altering the timeline. so we are tracking towards the 31st. there are retrograde plans that have been drafted up, and the secretary has seen and is aware of them. i think you would expect that in these final days, the secretary will want to have the opportunity to issue specific direction to general mckenzie about going forward with those retrograde plans. as i said, we are focused on
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that date, but we are also focused keenly on making sure we get as many people out as fast as we can for as long as we can. if there has to be alterations that that -- to that, secretary austin will be a part of that conversation and issue his guidance to the commanders on the ground. >> can you confirm no americans have been killed since august 14 , and if there is any american killed through august 31, how would that be announced? >> are you talking about american soldiers, troops? >> any americans. >> no. there have been no u.s. troops killed since the 14th and we only know of one minor injury. i know of no american citizens who have been killed on this, so i do not know of any and we don't have perfect visibility into everything going on in kabul but we know of no american casualties. >> when exactly does the august
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31 deadline take effect? is that august 31 midnight or is that september 1 midnight? >> august 31. >> i want you to clarify points. you said the u.s. will prioritize getting military personnel out from the airport. given that, is there a point where afghan nationals and u.s. citizens will not be allowed to get into the airport, being that you would have to have some sort of cut off before you could fly the final troops out? >> i just want to go back to something i said earlier about airflow. as you have seen the capability over the last three days, over 90 aircraft total yesterday. a lot focused on evacuation. the way to answer that question is the commanders who will go
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forward with the plan will have options to make decisions on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis of what loads are ready, what aircraft are ready, can i put something else on the bird? that is how fluid and quite honestly we are able to do that's a planning. it goes back to the mission, continue to be able to get as many out as possible. >> i think one reason i'm confused is it seems part of this is contingent on the taliban and how they secure the area around the airport, who they let in and when they let them in. one thing would help me understand better is who makes the final determination of security outside of the airport? you mentioned there are communications happening but the u.s. wanted some kind of national and the taliban did not want to let them in, who makes that determination? how is it sorted out? >> right now, the ai --
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airport is a cure to allow full operations and do not assess that that is going to change -- is secure to allow full operations and do not assess that is going to to change -- owing to change. >> we have been very clear with taliban leaders about what credentials we want them to accept. it is american citizens, applicants, and vulnerable afghans. we have shared what the proper credentials are and by and large , not saying it has been perfect, but by and large the people that we have made clear to the taliban that we want to have access to the checkpoint have been able to get through by and large. with caveats. it has not been a big problem to date. as the general said earlier, we also have other means to go out
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and gets people in if we need to. we had three rotary wing lifts, so we have that option as well. did that answer your question? >> yeah. i don't mean to be sick about this, just trying to understand how the communication happened. let's say they're not letting in a certain credential you believe should be let in, how is that handled? >> good question. commanders on the ground -- if that was brought to their attention, and this has happened, this is not a notional . when we have reports that someone properly credentialed is not being let in or maybe their family members, but they have proper credentials, we are making it clear to the taliban leaders that they are appropriate, you need to let them in. there has been a little give and take.
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not every checkpoint is manned in the same way by the same individuals as every other one. there is variances at some of these checkpoints in terms of how the word has gotten down and how much the taliban manning the checkpoint are following the dictates of their commanders. that is why it is a constant communication on the ground with them to keep that flow going as much as possible. but yes, there are stops and starts, hurdles that have to be overcome almost on any given day, but really, it is a credit to the commanders on the ground that they are continuing to have these conversations. did i get at it >> -- it? >> yes, thank you. >> jenny. >> thank you very much. [indiscernible] the south korean government is operating a military aircraft to receive the afghanistan in south
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korea. that will arrive tomorrow. north korea sponsors the taliban and we know that in the past, the north korea and tele been conducted training -- and taliban conducted training together. what kind of united states monitoring of north korea [indiscernible] >> first of all, as we talk about the public of korea's support to airlift, we are extremely grateful for their contribution to increase our outflow. throughout the world, we talk about north korea and all of that, all of our combatant commands are always diligent in
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watching in their mission of ensuring -- keeping awareness of any type of thing north korea is doing. we are very grateful and thankful for the republic of korea's support. >> do you have any contingents plan for anything happening [indiscernible] >> indo pay comes mission remains unchanged and steadfast. >> i need to go to the phone some more. tony. >> two quick questions. jen psaki yesterday said the evacuation is on track to be the largest in u.s. history, the largest airlift in u.s. history. the numbers, 88,000 i think you said have been evacuated. are you confident you will be able to best the operation 1975
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saigon evacuation where 131 people -- 131,000 people were evacuated? >> we are not competing with history. we are trying to get out as many people as we can as fast as we can. i need a said and done, we will take a look at what we can accomplish. this is not about trying to beat some historical record. i will only add that 80,000 in the course of a week and a half is no small feat. you have seen us, over the last three days alone, exceed what we thought was going to be a maximum capacity. it would certainly like to keep that going for as long as possible. let me go back to the phones and sylvie, i will get to you, i promise. >> thank you. can you tell me if all fa beholders that have made it onto the airport grounds with valid
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papers will be able to make it onto flights? i ask because an interpreter i have been in contact with made it off of the ground was almost put out of the gate and that appears to have now been corrected. will this interpreter and other sid holders on the ground be able to fly out before the deadline is gone -- is over? >> yes. sylvie? >> thank you. i have two small questions. first about the numbers. you said 88,000 departed since a week. is it only u.s. flight? if it is not u.s. flights, how many were evacuated by u.s. flights? >> total number? right at around 50,000 to 60,000 -- 58,000 to 60,000.
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>> the president mentioned a threat and i wanted to know if you seemed threats, if there was nude danger at the gates -- new danger at the gates or a threat in general? >> we will not go into specific intelligence. we know as previously reported, there is a threat. this has been a dangerous place that has had threats by isis. we continue to ensure that we collect and keep the force protection to the highest levels possible to ensure we are able to continue evacuation operations. >> any new threats? >> we will not talk about the intelligence arm. you know that.
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these are, as a general side, these are credible threats and we are mindful about that but we will not talk about it in great detail. >> just went to clarify your remarks about the vaccine memo. is this to say the secretary is not going to request a waiver from the president and dod will give vaccines on a mandatory basis as they become -- >> that is not at all. we will have to see where the other vaccines end up. that is not as all -- at all what i meant to say. the only ones that will be made mandatory right now are ones that are licensed by the fda. >> [indiscernible] >> i won't rule anything in or out, but as the memo says, we are only going make mandatory those that have fda licensure. press reporting alone would indicate that the other vaccines are going to be close. >> how is the relationship
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between pakistan and taliban. you think pakistan should make a good relationship? from what i heard from a taliban spokesperson, you guys have no good relationship because they presented -- prevented civilians from leaving afghanistan. which role does pakistan play? >> all afghanistan's neighbors can play a role here. and we hope they do, a constructive role. in afghanistan's future and pakistan i certainly would think would figure largely into that calculus. as we talked about, there is safe havens across the border, they remain a problem. we have been honest and candid about pakistani leaders about the importance of not allowing that. you would want to believe they also share that sense of urgency because they too are the victims of terrorist attacks that
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emanate from there. they should and i suspect they will want to play a significant role going forward. we would just ask for them and any country or neighboring country to make that as constructive as possible. >> what percent of the forces are not vaccinated yet, and when will they have to be vaccinated by? >> on the active duty force, 60% is fully vaccinated -- 68% is fully vaccinated. just over 76% have one toast. i can break this down by the services. this would include garden reserves in these figures. for the army, 40% is fully vaccinated with 57% with windows. for the marine corps, 53% fully vaccinated, 60% with windows. for the navy, 73% fully vaccinated, 79% with at least
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one does. for the air force, which includes space force, that is 57% fully vaccinated, 64% with windows. -- with one does. -- dose. the secretary wants them to move here and get the forcefully vaccinated as fast as possible. if you look in his memo, you will see he tasked them to regularly update the deputy secretary on a very frequent basis on how they are moving out to achieve the goals. right now, this mandatory vaccine will be pfizer and we will see where it goes with the other licensure's. >> will you be mandating vaccines for any of the afghan refugees who come into the united states and are brought here by the u.s. military? >> i will leave that question to the state department. there is covid screening being done at each stop along the way, and i think that is a better
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question for the state department. >> you said any siv holders coming to the gate would be let onto a flight. but we are getting real-time reports from abby gate that marines are turning away siv holders -- siv holders. are they supposed to turn away with those on papers authorization to come to the airport? have they closed down abby gate. >> i will let the general take that question. the question posed to me by i think stephen was if you are -- if you have siv credentials and you are on the airport will you be able to get off. the answer is yes. i will let the general take that. >> obviously i can't speak to that -- you know -- the absolute real-time to the second report. the guidance still remains, those that have the proper paperwork and are safely at the
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gates is to bring them in and process them. i cannot speak to that specific report there. what i do know is whether it is our marines or soldiers at those gates working with the consular office there, as people are there and present the proper siv paperwork, we are to get them as quickly as possible in, process them for evacuation. >> can you make sure that message gets down to the marines at abby gate? this is a legitimate report that just came in. >> we appreciate those reports. i just know as i have talked to the commanders, they are using a lot of time and it is good and well reported to ensure they get this information and put it out throughout the entire force. >> without speaking to this case, sometimes traffic is halted at the gates to manage flow on the airport.
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it is a physics issue. again, i appreciate that. if you share with us after the briefing the details, we will pass it on. >> can i ask one more vexing question? now that there has been several weeks of the decision to make this mandatory, what is the secretary's policy or decision on troops who refuse to get the vaccine? >> great question. what the secretary has communicated to the miller -- military department is to execute this vaccination program with skill and professionalism, which we always do, but with a measure of compassion. for a member who still objects, obviously you can ask for an exemption on religious grounds and you can be exempt if you have a pre-existing condition that your doctor advises you not to get it, obviously. if it is an objection outside of those two frameworks, the individual will be offered a
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chance to sit down with a physician and have that physician communicate to them the risk they are taking by not continuing to want to take the vaccine. they will also be offered a chance to sit down with their chain of command and leadership to talk about the risk their objection will impose on the unit and force and teammates. the point is, commanders have a wide range of tools available to them to help their teammates make the right decision for themselves, for their families, and for their units. the secretary expects that the commanders will use those tools short of having to use the uc mj. >> if a service member goes to the counseling and does not have a religious objection and still refuses to get the vaccine, the individual will be processed in ucmj? >> the commanders have a wide
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range of tools short of using that and we will trust the commanders will make the right decision going forward. >> so they will get an njp. >> i can't give you an exact answer to every hypothetical situation. once you mandate it, as we have done, it is a lawful order. it is a lawful order. we fully anticipate that our troops are going to follow orders. when you raise your right hand and you take that oath, that is what you agreed to do. it has not been a problem in the past with other vaccines. i recognize covid has a different history to it, a different cultural ascription to it, but it is a lawful order and is our expectation that troops will bear lawful orders. it is our expectation that commanders will have plenty of tools available to get the vaccination rates up and get individuals to make the right decision short of having to use disciplinary action.
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i think that is almost a full hour. we will call it for now as the general mentioned in his opening statement. we will shoot for an afternoon briefing. this one will be with general walters from yukon, specifically to address issues of the evacuation and what yukon is doing to help move these people onto their new lives. we will see you at 3:00 this afternoon. thank you. i beg your pardon, 3:30. 3:30. see you then.
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>> we will take you live now to capitol hill, the briefing room at the capitol visitor center. we will hear shortly from house minority leader kevin mccarthy and talk about the legislative agenda the morning after the house met to pass a couple of the democrat's priorities, including the voting rights legislation, the measure reinstating some of the provisions of the 1965 voting rights act. we will hear from leader maccarthy in a bit once the briefing gets underway. that is life here on c-span. while we wait for that, we wl


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